European agriculture is facing important challenges in the coming decades linked to our changing climate. Periods of droughts and floods will further increase which threaten production and require a smart usage of our vulnerable water resources. Climate change also stimulates crop disease, which causes farmers to use more pesticides and in turn endangers water quality and impacts people's health and the environment. Satellite Remote Sensing has a crucial role to play in tackling these challenges. At VanderSat we have developed a method to provide accurate high-resolution images of soil moisture, at any place on Earth 24/7 a year. Soil moisture is a key indicator for the physical status of a plant, and has a strong predictive value with respect to crop yield and weather conditions including flooding and droughts. By combining microwave data obtained from different satellites – including the ones in the Copernicus Sentinel constellation – we are revealing a revolutionary data set that can be used to retrieve key information about the water availability for crops at field level. This data is crucial for improving the accuracy of Agricultural (Ag.) models that are the backbone of modern agribusiness. Through the WATER4AGRI project we want to lift the technology to TRL9 by: (1) scaling VanderSat soil moisture for implementation in Ag. models and, (2) demonstrating the effectiveness of VanderSat in the two most widespread Ag. models. With VanderSat our customers will be able to accurately predict crop yield, pesticide requirements, droughts and flooding and, most important, reduce climate related risks for their businesses. VanderSat is creating business opportunities that were unimaginable before, like reducing crop risks through smart re-insurance strategies and integrated pest management. In doing this VanderSat impacts agribusiness in the most important dimension: improving yield and the overall profit or loss of the operation.
Fields of science
- engineering and technologycivil engineeringwater engineeringirrigation
- natural sciencesearth and related environmental scienceshydrology
- engineering and technologymechanical engineeringvehicle engineeringaerospace engineeringsatellite technology
- engineering and technologyenvironmental engineeringremote sensing
- engineering and technologyelectrical engineering, electronic engineering, information engineeringelectronic engineeringsensors
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